Library and Community Centre
Klaipeda, Lithuania (2018)
The urbanistic and
architectural proposal combines the principles of spatial design, which are
typical of the surrounding modernistic context, with the demands of contemporary
and lively public space programmed by human scale and variety.
The main library
space is provided with an autonomous axis, which is diagonal in regards to plan
and section; it begins in the park and, shaped in terraces, rises up to the
structure of the building. In such a way, the main function both intervenes iconically
into the volume of the building and is distinguished in the static composition
of the surrounding context.
On the urban scale,
the diagonal axis of the library space is composed alongside the natural paths
of a diagonal type that cross the park, thus further emphasizing the integrity
of the surrounding public space and the interior.
diagonal plane emphasizes the space “above” and “below” – and divides the site
and building to the two connected parts: the library on the top and in the East,
and the community education center at the bottom and in the West of the site. Both
parts are composed in conjunction with the associated public micro-spaces.
building is integrated into the existing spatial urban structure, and by being
moved closer to the street, dominates the green boulevard as a vivid and
vibrant, new-quality public local spot, offering a variety of spaces for
The surrounding environment and site solutions
pavilion-type new volume of the building is constructed in the center of the
site and, together with the territory, is further shaped as a solid, overlapping
spatial composition. The site is formed by creating a variety of public space
zones around the building: green squares, multi-purpose yards, seating
amphitheater, also forming a covered terrace, a swimming pool with a seating
edge, and a raised garden with a seating perimeter. The “cut” out of volume
entrances, as well as the readers’ balcony, create local and covered micro-spaces
along the building – with seating options. The interior of the library is
perceived as a spatial extension of the public space inside the building. It
starts at the entrance spot and draws the visitor into the library – an
interiorized public space.
The monumental volume silhouette and compact spatial
positioning make it possible to create and help manage the proposed range of
public spaces around the library. The formation of volume by making space cuts
highlights the unique character of each side of the site, the main entrances,
and the readers outdoor terrace. The main entrance to the library in the Northeast,
as well as access to the community education area in the Northwest, both open
into the main street and the associated public spaces in the East and West.
The inner space of
the library is accentuated as an integral and immediate part and spot of the
cultural landscape of the park and the newly-formed squares, while the
surrounding public space is integrated into the volume and immediately extends
into the interior of the library.
In the monumental
form, the cutouts/exposures of the building scale mark out the internal public functions
and, at the sides of the volume, create local spaces at the entrances. The
largest exposure emphasizes the entrance to the library and the main hall
space. The cutouts in the volume, that follow the function and emphasize the
combination of outdoor and indoor public space, also dictate the unique shape
of the building, and give the city an inspirational building that is solid in
terms of both elegance and logic.
The Western and
Southern façades are dominated by glass that is printed with fritted glass, which
not only helps reduce gloss, lower the cooling costs and minimize the risk for
birds, but also provides a distinctive “soft” external look. The ornament
covers/shades in up to 60-70 percent.
The Northern and
Eastern façades are dominated by blind supporting walls covered with vertically
profiled metal panels and perforated graphics that are similar to the graphics
on the glass façades.
interior, the atmosphere of the main space of the library dominates. The most eye-catching
is the surface of the wood, which combines decoration floors, staircases that start
from the outside and ascend to the top of the main hall, access ramps,
bookshelves, and tables. They are
surrounded by a ceramic-printed gradient-coated
tinted glass giving a panoramic view of the park and surrounding areas.
The functional layout
Two main functions: the library and the
community education center – are positioned one above the other, but both have
direct and visual contact with the ground level. The administration function is
positioned on both floors, and is in close proximity to the functions of the
library and community center.
of the library as a civic center where people meet and share knowledge and
information, the public space is the essence of design and iconicity.
In collaboration with KILD
Architects: Dominykas Daunys, Petras Išora, Ivane Ksnelashvili, David Tsanava
Structure: Baltic Engineers
Type: Public Library and Community Center
Location: Staybininku pr, Klaipeda, Lithuania
Area: 2,896 sq.m
Client: Klaipeda City Municipality